The biggest, and most exciting project of the month was a Zoo-related job. Many people know the Virginia Zoo said farewell to its two African elephants, Lisa and Cita. While there were many differing opinions on the best outcome for the girls, ultimately the decision was made to send them to Zoo Miami. There, they can live out their retirement years with new friends who offer a better socialization atmosphere, plus the girls will spend more time outside in the warmer climate.
Through this process I was able to learn so much, not just about these gorgeous creatures, but about the bonds they have built with our staff, community and beyond. It was bitter sweet to see the outpour of admirers throughout the farewell festivities, which included a 27-foot, bamboo heart enrichment created by the Zoo's Horticulture department (above).
I am truly proud of everything the staff pulled together for this tremendous celebration. A few of the things I contributed to were the above 15'x5' banner with thousands of signatures from Virginia Zoo visitors (this was actually the second banner, the first one - 10'x3' - was filled within two days!). Below was a large infographic I created for the exhibit space. It explains a little about our elephants, Lisa and Cita and why Zoo Miami was the right choice. Plus it also explores the next phase for the exhibit space in Africa, which will be White rhinos.